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What’s Your Why?

What’s Your Why?

This week has been challenging for my why, so I got to thinking about your why.

Why do we do what we do?

Why do you?

Why do I?

I sat at my kitchen table playing solitaire (clears my mind!) and thought about how I used to think our why was baked into our personality, like brown eyes. Once you understood your why (itself a daunting task), it wouldn’t change.

Now I’m questioning that premise because I’m questioning my why, which has stood the test of several decades.

Why, oh, why am I questioning my why?

Because, as I’m questioning everything I do professionally, my why I’ve done what I’ve done, and what I’ll do next, is sliding under an intense, internal microscope.

Maybe this happens to you if you shift from one medium to another. Or from one project to another. Perhaps why you are an artist at all has nuances when it comes to why you select one project over another, one tool over another, one idea over another.

Maybe our whys shift during times of major life transitions; maybe some parts of our why stay the same, while other parts try on new outfits.

For me, right now, that I find artists to be essential, humanity shape-shifters, has not changed. Because you live the creative life for yourself, it affirms for others the substance of creative expression. And so, who knows, maybe they too can have access to their Creative Self.

I find this outcome of being an artist irresistible. And every cell in my body wants to help you learn to articulate your why so the people who love your work grow even more connected to it.

This brings me back to my why.

Which I can’t articulate just yet because I haven’t figured out what’s happening next in my online, artist-focused life.

I think I’ll start with asking myself why I’m needing to change at all?

Maybe that’ll open the gates.

I’ll let you know once I do.

Meanwhile, don’t hold back. Come tell me why you do what you do.

As always, revealing the true spirit of your work…is the work,
especially in challenging times,

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.




Your Truth. Your Power. Your Word. Claim it!

P.S. If you want the best crash course in writing (or updating!) your artist statement, I wrote Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work  specifically for anyone who finds writing about themselves a chore. Revealing the true spirit of your work helps you deeply honor what you do, and in that sense is a joy.

Your book was a lifesaver! The writing exercises took away my fear and made a difference not just in my writing, but also in my work. I would have been lost and frustrated without it. 

~ Lauren Simon ceramic artist

What’s Your Why?

It’s Not Business as Usual

Today, while pinning up my hair after a warm shower, I was struck by the luxuriousness of this quiet, simple activity while Ukrainian women, children, and men sleep in the subways, in freezing cold underground garages, or in the cement bunkers ironically built by Russia in the 1980s—waiting for the next explosion, the next air raid, their next sip of water.

Once again, the near normalcy of my American life, even under covid, creates a striking contrast to people living day to day with the ravages of war, or hunger, or under repressive regimes. And, like many, I struggle with this.

It’s not a debilitating struggle. It’s not even oppressive. Which makes the struggle itself seem petty in comparison to those looking for food, not hairpins.

What keeps me sane is believing that, as Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

And that our experiences, even the ones appearing most devastating, are all woven into an infinite tapestry of a Divine consciousness continuously unfolding beyond what our human brains are wired to comprehend.

And here is where you, my valiant cohort of artists, comes in. I can’t imagine how I’d hold onto even my sanity of spirit if I didn’t also understand how you, as an artist, change the world.

How the very fabric of what you do gives the rest of us a chance to see, feel, and experience something beyond our ordinary sight.

How you carry the Flag of Creativity in a visible, tangible form inspiring all of humankind to wake up to the truth of its essential, creative spirit.

May you thrive, and be safe, in this extraordinary adventure called “your life, your art.”

And may all of us recognize and honor the remarkable, perilous sacrifice for democracy that Ukrainians are giving the world just when it needs it most.

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.